Last night I went out to dinner with a couple friends, and it was at one of those restaurants that comes with crayons and a giant sheet of paper on the table, so we of course decided to play hangman. At first we chose movie titles and the like, but eventually it just degraded into our favorite catchphrases, such as: “I’m Chris Hansen from Dateline NBC“, and “I’ve had it with these motherfuckin’ snakes on this motherfuckin’ plane”; as well as American Idol judges’ comments, like “This is a singing competition”, “You have a beautiful spirit”, and the ever-popular Randy Jacksonism: “Aw no dog.” So I really hope some random busboy tried to figure it out after we left, only to conclude that damn, those people watch a lot of TV.
Like, for instance, Jericho! We begin this week with Papa Green and his dolt son Eric returning from a hunting trip with nada, saying that they couldn’t find anything, not even carcasses lying around. Jake is incredulous (though does he really have any other emotion?), and he and Stanley decide to make another go of it, but farther away this time. They’ll simply have to use up the gasoline, even though they’re in short supply as it is. Oh, and Stanley wants to bring Mimi, so that she can learn how to hunt in case something happens to him. Aaand there we have the comic plotline of the episode. As they leave, Papa slaps Jake on the back and says, “Good hunting.” Yeah, okay Gramps. Starbuck and Apollo send their best. Sara and Hawkins are packing for their trip to see the Old Man. Which Old Man could it be? Santa Claus? Father Time? And the sea? Well, he only lives about two hours away, so I guess we’ll be finding out pretty soon. Hawkins expresses reservations, but Sara is confident that they’ll be able to handle it, because “it’s us!” Careful, Sara. It’s that sort of cockiness that can get a person killed, or at the very least scolded by Jeff Probst.
What is it with this show and terrible road trips? Jake, Stanley, and Mimi are piled into the Truck of Misery, with Mimi complaining all the way about Stanley’s driving speed and the fact that she doesn’t even want to learn how to hunt. Apparently, “the closest I ever got to the outdoors was the Ralph Lauren section at Neiman Marcus,” she whines. “There ya go, bargain hunting!” exclaims Stanley happily. “Bargains? At Neimans?” she snots. YOU’RE SO COSMOPOLITAN.
“Are we going to the MALL? I enjoy FASHION.”
Their hilarious antics are brought to a halt when they encounter a pack of dogs sniffing around a giant field of wreckage or something. I immediately think Stanley’s going to shoot them for food, but I guess I’m a monster because everyone just gets out of the truck and looks at the dogs in wonder. Jake finds a shopping bag with “South Dakota” written on it, and Mimi wanders away to find a dead body lying under a blanket. Jake mentions that he heard about this on the CNN Headline News: Black Jack Edition. There are massive waves of migrating people coming from the North, “hoping to outrun winter”. Mimi ominously asks if they should be doing that, too. I say, with JetBlue’s fantastic deals to Florida and the Bahamas, how can you afford NOT to?!
Using a series of sophisticated formulas and calculations (i.e. gross estimation), the gang figures that hundreds, maybe even over a thousand people have passed through there. Jake says they’re probably heading to South Texas or Mexico, but Mimi whines that there might not even BE a Mexico anymore. Which would truly destroy her, because let’s not forget her unparalleled love for mango margaritas. Stanley says they should go catch up with them, but Jake wisely shoots this down, since Jericho has only displayed minor shreds of competence up to this point without hundreds more adding to the fray. They leave the scene, with Stanley pouting all the way.
“You’re right, we shouldn’t have stopped at that burrito shack.”
Back in town, Emily finds Roger at the Shelter For Wayward Zombies. He tells her that he donated some clothes in the attic to these folks, which Emily takes remarkably well, since I had imagined her to be quite shallow and possessive of her ugly sweaters. He says that since he led all these people here, he has now declared himself Evil Zombie Overlord and has asked for the blood of a human sacrifice, along with unlimited pairs of tube socks. Well no, but he is sort of in charge, and asks Emily to help out by talking to people. In what universe would a conversation with Emily be considered therapeutic?
Over at the House That Lies Built, Hawkins and Sara are gearing up for their big trip. He promises his wife that this is the last Shady Excursion, and that after this he will stay for good. Yeah. And monkeys might fly out of my butt.
Papa Green returns home to his domestic goddess, who is busy attempting to winterize their house. It isn’t going well. But, in her search for more blankets and towels to seal the doors, she found a bottle of alcohol in Jake’s closet. They reminisce. Then decide to get hammered.
“HAND OVER THE SAUCE.”
Sara and Hawkins arrive at the house of the Old Man, who apparently has an affinity for red doors. They sneak in and discover a room with a hell of a lot of computers and other equipment, all of it totally smashed. Sara wonders aloud why whoever did this would choose to destroy it rather than just take it, since it would be so valuable right about now what with the EMP and all. Hawkins more or less stumbles over a couple-days-old dead guy, and they realize that whoever they’ve been corresponding with is probably not the Old Man. Who just so happens to be in the bushes outside, listening in and watching their every move. I guess Old Man isn’t exactly the Grandpa-spilled-Jello-all-over-his-pants-again type.
Back in the Truck of Mirth, our plucky explorers are playing some sort of betting/auction game. I don’t really get it, or care. Jake shouts at Stanley to stop the car, because there is a truck blocking the road. Not sure why Stanley needed to be informed of this by someone else, since he was the one, you know, DRIVING. And it’s not like they’re driving down a rickety bridge or through a sea of fire, they could just go around it. They’re in Kansas, for Chrissakes. Any flatter and it would be Kirsten Dunst. Anyway, they all act they’ve encountered the Great Wall of China and decide to turn around and go back the way they came. And with that, the Great Stanleymobile Road Trip of ’07 sputters to an end.
Truly an impenetrable obstacle.
No, not really. The Truck of Evil starts following them and speeds up until it’s riding their bumper. Mimi helpfully whines “Why are they following us?!” Maybe they want to hear your opinion on the spring collection at Saks, MIMI. Jake makes the executive decision to try and outrun the other car, but then it catches up and bumps into them and Mimi shrieks in terror, which makes me giggle.
Hawkins figures out that not all of the equipment has been destroyed, and that he may be able to salvage some of the information. He’s apparently studied under the great Chloe O’Brien, the Data Recovery Queen. He plugs it into a computer (a working one, I presume) and starts to look for information on the rest of the team members.
Back in the car, the gang finally realizes that Stanley’s Junkbucket isn’t going to be able to pull this off. Jake pulls out a gun, and Mimi displays the exact correct amount of horror that witnessing Jake handling a weapon of any kind requires. He of course starts shooting away at the Truck of Evil. I just love how Jake’s kneejerk reaction to everything is either immediate violence or utter confusion. The truck keeps bumping them until Stanley drives off the road and their car flips over, killing them instantly. Well, probably not, but a recapper can dream, can’t I?
You’re right, Mimi, this shouldn’t be.
Hawkins pulls up the information he was looking for. Of the eight people on their team, three are labeled “terminated” and the rest, including Hawkins and Sara, are labeled “whereabouts unknown”. Though I think it would be even cooler if those two were listed as “in my basement”.
At the shelter, some random dude starts telling Emily all about herself. He says that Roger kept the whole group entertained with stories about her, and that that’s what kept them moving somehow. I don’t quite understand this, because if I had to listen to stories about Emily all day I’d probably throw myself off the nearest cliff. Except this is Kansas, so I guess I’d have to stab myself in the heart with an ear of corn or something. She walks over to Roger, who’s currently entertaining some elderly zombies. She’s heading home, but he’s going to stay a little while longer. She says goodbye and walks out, looking after him wistfully. Emily HATES humanitarians.
Mama and Papa Green are snuggled up together, getting sloshed. They toast to Jake, whose alcohol they’re stealing. Papa reminisces some more about the times he used to go hunting with Jake, and that they used to be very close once. Now that they’ve grown apart, he’s worried that Jake will never remember the good times. I hope they explain this big rift to us soon, because this whole mystery prodigal son plotline is pretty much dead to me. Mama says that she hopes Stanley and Jake are okay out there.
Cut to Mimi, whose head is flopped through the broken window of the car. They’re fine, Mom! She wakes up and calls out to Stanley, who is lying on the other side of the car, and he doesn’t look good. Dammit, if this show takes away my lovable oaf Stanley, I’m quitting. QUITTING I SAY! Mimi crawls out of the car and finds Jake as well, whose leg is totally pinned under the cab of the truck. “WAAAAAAAOOOO!!” some guy outside my window screams. Sorry, it just seemed appropriate to note it at this point. Mimi goes over to Jake and tells him that Stanley’s not moving, but she’s cut off by the arrival of the Bad Guys. Jake tells her to hide, but she wants to stay with Stanley. She protests for like five more seconds, then relents and runs off into the brush. “Give me a weapon!” Jake fails to say. He throws a couple water bottles and a flashlight over to her, then begins the pointless task of reaching for his gun, which is just out of reach. The Bad Guys approacheth, as do the Commercials.
And we’re back. Jake is playing dead (though it’s hard to tell, really). The Bad Guys sift through all their stuff, take some supplies, and then leave. Well, that was easy! Mimi comes back out of the bushes and tells Jake to help her with Stanley. Mimi is perhaps under the impression that human limbs can detach at will, as Jake has to actually point out the very obvious fact that a giant truck is on top of him and he can’t move.
Hawkins and Sara are still poring over the evidence. Or whatever it is. They look at satellite pictures of their fallen comrades, and try to piece together what has happened to them. Hawkins is able to detect someone in the background, and it appears to resemble the guy who is currently stalking them outside. So that’s not Old Man? I’m confused.
Back at the crash site, Mimi wakes up Stanley, who’s totally fine. Don’t DO that to me, show! Don’t you even think about killing off your mildly interesting characters, you don’t want to go down that road. It ends with cancellation. As I said, Stanley is fine, except he’s busted up his ankle. They all try to figure out a way to extract Jake, but since weakly Mimi and wounded Stanley aren’t strong enough to move the truck, and the Bad Guys stole the shovel and the jack, they’re shit outta luck.
“Are we still going to Bloomingdale’s?”
Emily is at home, looking through a photo album of her and Roger. Really, Emily? This girl is spiraling down into something. Let’s just hope she doesn’t get another hallucination attack. She asks if he remembers the last thing she said before he left, and he recalls that it was something about him being selfish or not listening. He doesn’t know exactly, since he wasn’t really listening. She says that all that ate away at her while he was gone, but he says that she had been right. Emily admits that seeing him today with all those people has made her realize he has changed. He found himself. So, wandering around Kansas was like Roger’s study abroad semester? He says that one thing hasn’t changed, and that is his love for her. Emily’s doesn’t say anything but has this look that says, yeah…about that…
“Look hun, remember my first centerfold?”
“You had a rack that wouldn’t quit! Ah, memories.”
The gang is trying to figure out what to do. It’s getting cold, and either Stanley or Mimi is going to have to go for help. Stanley can’t walk, so that leaves our little displaced urbanite Mimi. Stanley doesn’t want her to go but eventually caves, since there are really no more options. He gives her some horrible directions that she’ll surely botch, then she runs off. Might want to save some of that energy for the marathon mango margarita drinking session you’ll be hitting later, Mimi.
Sara wants Hawkins to stash his family somewhere so they can hit the road, but he’s not a fan of that plan. Hawkins knows They (whoever They is) won’t kill him, because if They do They’ll never find the package (whatever that is). Sara correctly points out that They’ll kill his kids instead, which is probably true, since she’s the one who suggested that to Them. Hawkins suddenly realizes that if someone had wanted all this stuff destroyed, they would have done it and blown up the house or something, Lost style. He figures out that he’s already been lured into a trap, and packs up his gear to leave. But it’s too late, as Balding Guy In Bushes has been listening this whole time and is now poised outside the door, gun drawn. Sara stops Hawkins right before he walks out the door, and asks what the plan is. He says that the plan was probably to lure them out there all along. “And you’re in on it!!” he doesn’t yell. Cuz he’s slooow. He has to protect his family, and the package will have to be moved. Upon hearing this, Balding Guy In Bushes disappears, and Hawkins and Sara are free to leave. And DIE.
Jake is groaning and rubbing his hands together in front of his pants. He’s clearly trying to keep warm, but honestly it just looks like he’s jacking off. AGAIN. Jake needs to get some, and soon. Stanley reminds him that they’ve been through worse, like that time he and Jake were trapped on the roof of town hall during the lightning storm. I don’t know how this happened, but I imagine large quantities of alcohol were involved. Anyway, Jake is really cold, you can tell because he is shivering. The Skeet is ACTING!! He tells Stanley to go warm up in an abandoned cabin he saw earlier, but Stanley totally refuses to leave, and takes off his vest and puts it over Jake. Aw. He says that Mimi is strong, and that she’ll make it.
Mimi is hopelessly lost. She comes to a crossroads, and looks for the sign pointing to Jericho. She finds it lying on the ground and of no use to her at all. She whines to herself for a couple minutes, then chooses a direction and runs off as it starts to snow. It’s simply magical.
Night falls on Jake and Stanley. Jake, thinking that this is The End, apologizes to Stanley for leaving the way he did five years ago. And he regrets the fact that they never got to go backpacking through Costa Rica. Stanley says they’re still going to do that and that Jake’s going to make it. Aw. It’s like the end of Titanic, but awful. Never let go, Jake! Stanley tries to keep him awake by asking what San Diego was like, and if he had a girl there. Jake tells him that he did but now she’s dead, and it was his fault. Haha. Nice work, Stanley.
My heart will go on!
Mimi is still running around like a crazy person when her flashlight goes out. She flips out a little but tells herself to keep moving, when suddenly she spots a car. Unsure of whether she should hide or accost them for help, she sort of does a little dance in the street before throwing herself into the brush. But the Mysterious Strangers turn out to be Mama and Papa, so the day is saved!
Roger and Emily are going through their closet, looking for more stuff to donate. He accidentally sees her wedding dress, and assures her that she’ll actually get to wear it when the day comes. “I’m in love with Jake,” she fails to say. Instead she smiles warmly and offers to join him back at the center. I’m really confused about these two. Is Emily in love with Roger all over again? Or is she playing him like a fiddle? How is she going to leave things with Jake, if he survives? Should I even care about any of this? I don’t have any answers, except to the last question, which is an emphatic no.
The Greens and Mimi arrive to find Jake and Stanley dead and frozen solid in an immortal embrace. Just kidding. Jake can’t be killed. He’s like a cockroach. But he is fading fast, so Mama puts a blanket on him and tries to warm him up a little. Aw, she’s such a good mom, when she’s not plotting the deaths of her loved ones. Papa tells her to take Stanley and Mimi back to town and bring back some people to help lift the truck.
Hawkins comes home, assuming that is family is either gone or dead. He calls frantically for Darcy, who after a while comes down the stairs, bleary-eyed and annoyed. Hawkins sighs with relief. Sara looks pissed.
Papa is warming up Jake, giving him the same Never Let Go speech that Stanley had delivered earlier. Jake apologizes again, and then tells him that he can see the Girl. Eh? Papa thinks he’s hallucinating Ã¡ la Emily, but Jake explains that when he was in Iraq, he killed a little girl. And we fade to black. And we fade back up again. Help has arrived, in the form of Eric and some firemen/paramedics. They lift the truck and extract Jake, saving him. And thank GOD. I was on the EDGE of my SEAT on that one.
Hawkins tells Sara that he needs to get his family out of there and make sure they’re safe, and once he’s done that they both need to get back out in the field. Sara asks how he’s going to break that to Darcy, but he schemes that he’ll tell her after they move, otherwise she would never agree. Sara looks away craftily, because she’s a dirty MOLE.
Jake is warming up back at the house (apparently the hospital isn’t as warm) while April gives a rundown of his condition. He’s hypothermic, but the cut on his head isn’t bad, and neither of his legs are broken. “He’s very lucky,” says April. By which she actually means “It’s very convenient in terms of the plot.” Papa shoos her away so that he can have that Important Father-Son Talk they set us up for earlier.
Jake tells him to forget what he said about the Girl, but Papa says he can’t do that. He goes on to tell him that he’s been at war and seen and done a lot of horrible things too, and that Jake can talk to him about it. Jake just starts crying, so Papa pats and kisses him on the head and says, “When you’re ready, son.” Aw. He’s a good dad. Jake has awesome parents, how the hell did he and Eric get so screwed up?
“Jake, you’re adopted. Oh I’m sorry, is this a bad time?”
Mimi exits the hospital with Stanley, who has a sprained ankle. She confesses that for a moment out there she didn’t think she was going to make it. Just a moment? I thought it from the beginning! Stanley says he always knew she would, and then gives her a cute little kiss. She says his lips are still cold, so he says that maybe she should warm them. She tells him to shut up. The most likable characters in this series, folks!
Hawkins breaks the news to Darcy that they’re all leaving tomorrow morning. He’s about to tell her why, when Sara interrupts to tell him that she’s going out for a walk. Of BETRAYAL. After he leaves, he confesses to Darcy that he has something in his possession that people need and will stop at nothing to get it. Darcy agrees to go with him. Meanwhile, Sara is walking down a darkened, foggy alley to meet a Mysterious Someone, who is clearly the Balding Guy In Bushes. Darcy asks Hawkins if he trusts her, which is an odd thing to say. We cut back to BGIB, who tells Sara that she’s late, and she responds by saying that he’s impatient. Back to Darcy, who tells Hawkins that Sara is not on their side, but since she doesn’t exactly present any evidence for this, I have no idea why Hawkins might believe her. BGIB asks if Sara has located the package, and she says not yet but almost. He tells her that it’s time to eliminate Hawkins, just like they did with the other three before him. Sara responds by punching him in the face and breaking his neck, killing him. “This one is different,” she sneers. I roll my eyes.
So, I think all this business with Hawkins and Sara is wearing a little bit thin. But hopefully it will be wrapping up soon and the Secrets will be divulged, whatever They may be. The big car crash and the ensuing struggle for survival was hilariously melodramatic, but it actually somehow worked and managed to be mildly interesting. Or maybe I’m just happy to see more of Stanley, even if it is in combination with that strumpet Mimi. Thoughts? Comments? Excited about seeing Hawkins’ package?